Art, architecture, design and history come together in this week’s comprehensive book auction. The curated collection of books visually and textually spans various artistic periods, historic endeavors, iconic memoirs and cultural wonders. No matter your interest, you will uncover an invaluable story to broaden your horizons. Take a look at a few highlights from this curated sale.
One of the oldest and most valuable books in the auction is a hardbound volume of papers by 17th-century British philosopher John Locke relating to money, interest and trade. The book is the first collected edition of Locke’s most important economic papers, which was published in 1696. It is estimated at $8,000-$10,000.
Another Renaissance man of the 17th century was Sir Andrew Balfour, whose first edition Letters Written [sic] to a Friend… Containing Excellent Directions and Advices for Travelling thro’ France and Italy is highly prized. Published posthumously in 1700 by the author’s son from his father’s original manuscript letters, the book has firsthand advice on what to see and do in England, France and Italy, with special attention to buying natural history books. The first edition, first state volume offered in this auction is estimated at $1,000-$1,2000.
Sportsmen can relive the time of the great French Hunts of the early 20th century in Baron Karl Reille’s famous book La Vénerie Française Contemporaine. This profusely illustrated book, with its text drawings and music scores, numerous full-page color plates, is filled with anecdotes and, often amusing, comments. This important work presents all the hunts existing in France at the time, with each hunt illustrated by the author. It has a $4,000-$4,500 estimate.
Also from France is a first edition of The Decisive Moment: Photography by Henri Cartier Bresson, published in English by Simon and Schuster in 1952. The book, which features a cover illustration by Henri Matisse, contains 126 photographs by the pioneer of street photography. With losses to the surface of the book’s spine, it is estimated at $300-$400.
The most recent book in the sale is a first edition of Carlos Diniz’s Views of Venice II, which was published in 2000. The volume is illustrated with 10 full-page color reproductions of his paintings of Venice, and one large foldout plate, which is also in color. Carlos Diniz (1928-2001) is recognized as one of the most important practitioners of architectural illustration in the 20th century. He is known for his work with many Pritzker, Gold Medal and pioneering architects of the 20th century.
Moving to America, a scarce special edition of The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie And Rocky-mountain Life by Francis Parkman is prized for its Frederick Remington illustrations. The remarkably clean example in the auction features the beautiful blue, red, black and gilt decorative design on cover cloth and gilt design on spine. It carries a $500-$600 estimate.